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Hotline Tip: Can I Help A Signer Choose What Form To Use?

Am I allowed to assist a signer in deciding what type of form — acknowledgment or jurat — is to be notarized? – L.U., Newport Beach, CA

Nonattorney Notaries and Notaries who are not credentialed experts in a pertinent field (e.g. real estate agent) should not determine the type of notarial act needed for any document. Doing so could be considered the unauthorized practice of law. If a signer is unsure what notarial wording to use, he or she should contact the person or agency who prepared the document, the receiving agency, or an attorney, to find out how to proceed. It is not the Notary’s role to contact the preparer or receiving agency.

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